Category Archives: Teaching

Project-Based Learning: Doing It Right!

gtchat 09122017 PBL

This week it was a pleasure to welcome #gtchat Advisor and long-time friend of our chat, Ginger Lewman, to discuss project-based learning. Ginger is a popular keynote and presenter at gifted and education conferences around the world. If you ever get a chance to hear her speak, it will be an experience to remember.

The benefits of project-based learning are extensive and especially good for gifted and talented students. It is a driver for critical thinking, collaboration and innovation. Project-based learning can spark creativity and develop problem solving skills as well as provide deeper, more meaningful learning for students.

“Soft skills and emotional intelligence can be a struggle for some gifted and talented students. Project-based learning helps them grow in a safe environment. Students get to work in areas of strength and interest bringing interests. Good for all students, but essential to untapped potential.”                                                                             ~ Ginger Lewman

Teachers and students are  the primary stakeholders and beneficiaries in the pedagogical shift to project-based learning. Students are now in the driver’s seat and  the teacher is the facilitator.  To make the shift work well, teachers must be open to the democratization of their classrooms; be willing to open up their own thinking to criticism. Students should realize efficacy in their efforts; empowered to lead rather than follow. Parents, too, are stakeholders when they seek to hold the system accountable for authentic learning by becoming involved.

How does an educator design and implement quality project-based learning? They need to understand that it’s a steep learning curve for all involved at the beginning. ‘Planning sessions must focus on long-term sustainability instead of a just one-off workshop.’ (TeachThought)

“Project-based learning can be a gateway-drug for seeing students’ strengths, interests, and talents. AND for recognizing a NEED for something MORE.”                                                                              ~ Ginger Lewman

Teachers must balance project-based learning with testing, accountability, curriculum and pacing. They need to begin to think differently about testing and accountability; learning to think trumps content every time. Today, teaching is going under some fundamental changes requiring a lot of soul searching about outcomes and authenticity.

What does quality feedback look like and how do you assess the success of project-based learning? High quality project-based learning leads to the creation of a product such as a display, performance, or construction. Assessments include peer and self-assessment, are both formative and summative, develop content and success skills,  as well as process and products. (Getting Smart)

You can take project-based learning to the next level with more sophisticated project design and assessment. Self-reflection completes a quality project-based learning  experience through journaling, presentation and/or group discussion. Performance tasks should reflect competency by demonstrating knowledge and skills. The projects will show authentic learning including student choice and voice. A transcript of this chat can be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

PBL and LifePractice PBL

Ginger Lewman (website)

About Ginger Lewman

STEAMmaker Camps

7 Questions to Guide Your PBL Implementation Plan

4 Things All Project-Based Learning Teachers Should Do

Using Project-Based Learning to Flip Bloom’s Taxonomy for Deeper Learning

Does Your Teaching Have the 4 Categories of High-Quality PBL?

Project-Based Learning Is Here to Stay: Let’s Make Sure It’s High Quality

Preparing Students for a Project-Based World

How I Connect Students Through Project-Based Learning

Don’t just say it. Do it! Motivation & PBL

PBL: Navigating Timelines & Curriculum Maps

So Your Kids’ PBL Work Sucks? 8 Ways to Improve It!

PBL is Here to Stay: Let’s Make Sure It’s High Quality (Part 1)

PBL is Here to Stay: Let’s Make Sure It’s High Quality (Part 2)

Sprite’s Site: Grey Sneakers

Project Based Learning, Preparing Students for the Work Force of the Future

PBL and Special Student Populations

Motivating for Mastery: It Starts with a Simple Question

Essential Components for LifePractice PBL Planning (pdf)

Cybraryman’s Project-Based Learning Page

ESSDACK Education Products

3 Ingredients for Assessing Learning in the PBL Classroom

Your Rubric is a Hot Mess; Here’s How to Fix It

Practicing PBL: Self-Directed Learning for Self-Starters (and finishers) (paid course)

Assessing Learning in the PBL Classroom: A top FAQ

Pondering the Complexity of ‘Mastery’ Learning Assessment

Background photo courtesy of Flickr   CC BY-SA 2.0

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conard. Photo courtesy of Ginger Lewman.

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Educating Gifted Students for Global Competence

gtchat 08292017 Global

Global competence is not a subject often talked about in gifted circles, but it is widely discussed in the greater education community. Gifted and talented students need to be front and center in understanding the significance of becoming leaders on the global stage.

How exactly do we define global competence? It is the having the capacity and disposition to understand and act on issues of global significance. Global competence is the acknowledgment that the world is qualitatively different from the industrial age and our educational systems must change in response to new challenges.

Many problems in our world today would benefit from having globally competent students. Climate instability is driving migration and immigration necessitating the need for global environmental stewardship. The digital revolution is triggering new concerns about cyber-security which require a new kind of graduate. How global markets operate, transnational production and social interactions demand a new approach to education.

What characteristics of gifted students make them well-suited for success in a global age? They are often deep thinkers who can understand & solve emerging global problems. Many gifted students are empathic to diverse perspectives and act toward the common good. They often have the ability to thoughtfully and respectfully articulate their position.

There are obstacles to changing the focus of instruction in today’s schools. Policymakers are rarely prepared to seriously and effectively think about education for a truly global era. There is a deep distrust of education in many places that attempts to transcend borders. Few people seem prepared to take into consideration cultures, values or priorities of nations different from their own.

What does quality instruction for global competence look like? First, it identifies engaging topics of local and global significance. Quality instruction must use global competence-centered assessments and focus on outcomes.

In the future, globally competent students will be able to use big ideas, tools, methods and languages in any discipline to solve pressing issues. They can recognize multiple perspectives, communicate effectively & take action to improve conditions. A transcript of this week’s chat can be found at our Storify page.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

Educating for Global Competence: Learning Redefined for an Interconnected World (pdf)

Mastering Global Literacy Contemporary Perspectives on Literacy (Amazon)

Global Competence Aptitude Assessment

Connected Courses Active Co-Learning in Higher Ed

Skype in the Classroom

SENG Connect

Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything Twitter for Teachers

The Global Education Toolkit for Elementary Learners (Amazon)

Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era (Amazon)

An Attainable Global Perspective (pdf 1976)

EU: European Strategy (Maastricht Global Education Declaration) (pdf)

Educating for Global Competence: Preparing Our Youth to Engage the World

Education for Global Leadership (pdf)

How Education Changes: Considerations of History, Science & Values (pdf Gardner)

Education for Citizenship in an Era of Global Connection (pdf)

Five Minds for the Future (Amazon)

Learning in the Global Era (pdf)

Veronica Boix Mansilla – Global Competence (YouTube 12:11)

The Global Classroom Project

Global Education Conference

Cure What Ails You: A Dose of Twitter for Every Day

Connecting Your Students with the World: Tools and Projects to Make Global Collaboration Come Alive, K-8 (Amazon)

Photo courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Creative Commons

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

The Impact of Popular Culture on Gifted Children

gtchat 08222017 Popular Culture

It’s no secret to the gifted community that popular culture perpetuates stereotypes about gifted children.  They are viewed  as socially inept and geniuses  with little or no consideration of reality. Furthermore, it’s common for popular culture to pit various segments of the population against each other; athletes, artists, academics.

Negative portrayals of gifted children in the media can have a profound impact on a child’s self-concept. Gifted kids often feel they can’t live up to society’s expectations; that all children identified as gifted are intellectually flawless. This can also lead to them bullying in school when they do display academic achievement or talent.

The media’s influence in a child’s life is well recognized and there needs to be a sense of responsibility on its part. Recently, Hollywood and television have been doing a better job, but needs to understand the risks of undermining intellectual ability.

Teachers and school counselors need to be aware of the social-emotional needs of gifted children (Colangelo 2003). School personnel should be understanding of exceptional developmental issues and appropriate approaches to address needs.

Parents should consider asynchronous development, emotional sensitivity, and perfectionism as related to popular culture. They need to be alert to the possibility that their child may attempt to camouflage abilities to ‘fit in’ with age-peers. Parents should learn the signs of underachievement and seek professional help if deemed necessary.

To see what chat participants felt were the best and worst representations of gifted children in the media, check out the transcript of the chat at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

 

Links:

How Pop Culture Stereotypes Impact Self-Concept of Highly Gifted People

The Mad Genius Stereotype: Still Alive and Well

The Gifted Teen Survival Guide: Smart, Sharp & Ready for (Almost) Anything (Amazon)

Casting Minority Gifted Students: The Pedagogical Impact of Cinema on the Culture of Schooling

When Gifted Kids Don’t Have All the Answers: How to Meet Their Social & Emotional Needs (Amazon)

Giftedness in the Media

Hoagies’ Blog Hop: Gifted in Pop Culture

UK: Possible Effects of Social Media on GT Children’s Intelligence & Emotional Development (pdf)

AUS: Pink or Paris? Giftedness in Popular Culture (pdf)

Using Movies to Guide Teachers & Counselors to Collaborating to Support Gifted Students (pdf)

Amadeus to Young Einstein: Modern Cinema & Its Portrayal of Gifted Learners (pdf)

The Pursuit of Excellence or Search for Intimacy? The Forced-Choice Dilemma of Gifted Youth (pdf)

Indecent Exposure: Does the Media Exploit Highly Gifted Children? (pdf p.28) Gifted Education Communicator

A Portrayal of the Gifted in Magazines: An Initial Analysis (pdf ’96)

How Stereotypes Affect Gifted Children

Portrayal of Gifted Children in Children’s Chapter Books (pdf)

Nerds & Geeks: Society’s Evolving Stereotypes of Our Students with Gifts & Talents (pdf)

Sprite’s Site: Googlebox

Profiling the Gifted in Popular Culture

Everything I Needed to Know about Being a Smart Kid, I Learned from 80’s Movies

Gifted in Pop Culture: Role Models Required

Gifted Characters in Korean & Japanese Dramas

Giftedness Magnified

An Examination of Coercive Egalitarianism: Peer, Institutional & Cultural Sanctions, Against the Achieving Gifted Child (pdf ’92)

Accepting Scholarly Identity Gifted Students, Academic Crowd Membership & Identification with School (pdf)

AUS: Gifted Students’ Perceptions of the Characteristics of Effective Teachers (pdf)

The ‘G’ Word Film from Marc Smolowitz: Meet the Experts | Who Gets to be Gifted in America and Why? (Vimeo 12”14)

Are All Children Gifted?

Gifted: Who Ever Decided to Call These Gifts?

Sprite’s Site: Acknowledging Diversity: Gifted is not a Homogenous Group

Photo courtesy of Pixabay   CC0 Creative Commons

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Making Critical Thinking Matter – Prioritizing Higher Order Instruction in a World of Constraints with Featured Guest, Colin Seale of thinkLaw

gtchat 08152017 Critical Thinking

This week on Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT our featured guest was Colin Seale, Esq. Colin is the Founder and CEO of thinkLaw, which helps educators teach critical thinking to all students through an award-winning, standards-aligned supplemental curriculum based on real-life legal cases and powerful & personalized professional development that helps educators apply critical thinking across grade levels and subject areas. thinkLaw partners with over 60 schools in 11 states as part of its revolutionary agenda to create a world where critical thinking is no longer a luxury good.

Colin and his team provided excellent information on the importance of teaching critical thinking in schools. Critical thinking is considered one of the most important 21st century skills. The days of viewing education as an information delivery service are gone. Students need to learn critical thinking as it is viewed as a ‘life skill’ necessary for success today.

“We are preparing students for entire industries that do not exist yet. Critical thinking cannot be a luxury good! It is the precursor to innovation. STEAM means zip if students can’t find, communicate, and solve real problems.”                                                                                                                                 ~ Colin Seale, Esq.

Innovative educators are realizing that learning ‘how to think’ trumps content every time. The world’s best education systems know that engaging students’ passions can tip the scales for learning. Colin explained, “[There has been a] paradigm shift: content vs. depth is a false choice. Start with powerful questions and motivate content acquisition.”

Why is it so hard to get today’s K-12 students to think deeply? K-12 students’ brains have been numbed by endless test prep and testing. Smart educators are just saying ‘NO’! Many students must endure hours, semesters, or even years of sitting in classes being required to relearn what they already know. Students think deeply about what they are passionate about. It’s time to tap into those passions! As Colin told us, “We rarely encourage risk-taking and too often punish mistakes. Freedom to fail = Freedom to think.”

Engineers tend to struggle analyzing poetry. We need to make critical thinking transferable across subject areas. From the earliest years in school, cross-curricular teaching strategies can achieve a valuable liberal arts education. ‘Critical thinking’ should never rely on a single approach or methodology. Creative teaching is essential. Regarding professional development , Colin said, “it must be personalized and practical so teachers can apply it immediately. Otherwise, it’s just eye candy. Creativity, communication and collaboration must be embedded within all critical thinking activities.”

gtchat 08152017 Critical Thinking TL graphic

Content knowledge is much easier to assess than critical thinking skills. Colin suggests, “Just like GT testing, critical thinking assessment is best when it’s authentic and varied. Tie it to meaningful activities!” It should cover problem interpretation, inference, analysis explanation and evaluation skills. Critical thinking assessment tools take time to produce; worksheets and standardized testing need to be replaced.

“The crux of critical thinking assessment is students supporting their thinking with sound reasoning.” ~ Sarah Pfeiler, thinkLaw Team

Finally, we discussed practical methods and tools teachers can use to focus on critical thinking more regularly. Early on, teachers need to impress on students that there can be multiple solutions to problems; seek the best. Even very young students can be taught introspective skills; how does ‘what I know or believe’ affect decisions. Colin added, “Students who care about the problems they solve will persevere through the problem-solving process!” A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

gtchat 08152017 Critical Thinking TL graphic 2

 

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

Free Sample Lesson Download for #gtchat Participants

thinkLaw (Twitter)

The thinkLaw Team

thinkLaw (Facebook)

Silence is Not an Option: The Educators’ Call to Action #Charlottesville

6 Critical Thinking Questions for Any Situation

3 Tips for Helping All Students Become 21st Century Communicators

Critical Thinking Should Not Be a Luxury: 3 Strategies for Unleashing the Potential of Every Student

Three Tools for Teaching Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills

5 Questions Principals Should Ask to Assess Critical Thinking Instruction in Teacher Observations

3 Strategies for Increasing Student Voice in Your Classroom

Thinking Like a Lawyer: Powerful Strategies to Teach Critical Thinking to All Students (webinar)

Cybraryman’s Questioning Techniques Page

Cybraryman’s Critical Thinking Page

FlexFridays Take Learning Beyond the Classroom

Photo and logo courtesy of ThinkLaw.

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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